Sam Howell

In a previous post I outlined my concerns related to conventional card payments, how cash is slowly dying and why you should consider using the Monero cryptocurrency wherever possible to ensure maximum privacy for your payments.

In this post I’m going to share with you another, easier solution; one which doesn’t require any knowledge of cryptocurrencies or blockchain technology. This alternative solution is the use of prepaid cards, and I’ll take you through my own technique, which will involve:

  • Finding
  • Purchasing
  • Activating
  • Securing
  • Using
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I was 12 years old and accompanied by my mum when I walked into our local bank to open my first account. It was a place full of smartly dressed, smiling adults, stewards of regulated finance there just for me, directing us both to comfy chairs, surrounded by mini pens on chains and relaxed talk of things I didn’t understand.

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It's been months or more since I last wrote at length, for a few reasons. Since the summer, I've found it difficult to turn my attention solely towards writing, as well as other productive ends – which I'll talk more about in just a moment. Since the spring I was tied to something from which I've now managed to free myself entirely. This was something which I was told would be worthy of my time and effort, but which I've since decided was a waste of my time and so was something I needed to be rid of if I was going to be able to fully focus on those things which I feel to be worthier of what little time I secure for myself outside of normal working hours: namely, an elearning course called Digital Privacy Essentials, which I hope to have completed and ready for testing and delivery by next spring/summer.

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led again through a mother’s nightmare, another calf hungry for the milk it will taste only once or twice that we will price & pasteurise to taste a thousand times.

What sound does a cow make buckling beneath the weight of a reality we very smartly, painstakingly force upon it for as long as it will take

to fit our sharp, misshapen interests into all of nature’s circles. What sound does it make? Push the button, teach children the lies that sell. What sound does it make? It’s probably like

the time you saw the eyes of your last child and again were driven headlong by instinct into love; then the thing you tell yourself only happens to others, happens, and all but kills you silently.

It’s probably all these things combined. But what difference does it make what sound a cow makes when we’re not even listening.

— Find me on Mastodon and at samhowell.uk

Are you safe? Have you noticed as I have that a bed’s edges close in without two bodies to hold them back? And no number of instant messages make distance easy to live with.

The cat left. It took the first few weeks of soft words & pheromone to settle him and bang, just like that the first firework ruined everything. Chasing safety into insecurity, he made himself a cruel part of the winter nights.

I ride the bus now to distraction & forgetfulness, on occasion look up from my book and try to identify what matters most in life, mark between scarred frost fields & slick slate roofs some insight 30 years have yet to prove.

For a while I sat up top among the unchecked volume of youth: school uniforms unbroken voices & the constant tug of war between conformity & the individuals they’re aching to become. I try to remember how it felt being them –

bodies desperate to grow, skin as yet unblemished by what they’ll one day learn to think important. I think of the classmates who joined me in my growing and realise these are their children.

The top deck rattles off its routine as the sun which has risen somewhere beyond fogged hills struggles greens & browns back into this our home beyond the window, light moving slow as a yawn down the valley.

Really I’m torn between the past’s impressions & the future’s promises

— Find me on Mastodon and at samhowell.uk

Open your curtains, brother! Sure as you’ll rise there’s money to be made from the blind, who can no less feel the sun’s veiled strength than hope to hide from it. So stare them down to the raw data, constant as blood. The mind is its own place and in itself can make you more. Every throwaway thought & feeling forgotten. Catch the purge and watch for leaks. They have “nothing to hide” and you have everything to gain. But I see you and I will call you out as long as you deny us the very thing you’d fear denied yourself; drawing curtains like any other.

— Find me on Mastodon and at samhowell.uk

In a way, the world-view of the Party imposed itself most successfully on people incapable of understanding it. They could be made to accept the most flagrant violations of reality, because they never fully grasped the enormity of what was demanded of them, and were not sufficiently interested in public events to notice what was happening. By lack of understanding they remained sane. They simply swallowed everything, and what they swallowed did them no harm, because it left no residue behind [1]

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Let’s throw the word out there nice and early so we’re all on the same page: Veganism. You might be sick of hearing about it, seeing it strewn across the political playing fields of Twitter, self-replicating into subreddits and the volatile trend charts of social media. For others it’s a call to action, a revolution to rally behind, a reaction to being fed destructive lies their entire lives. Wherever you stand on the spectrum, this idea has taken thousands of years to gain real momentum, and now it’s going nowhere. I believe there are three main reasons for this: significant damage to the environment, ongoing scientific studies, and the Internet.

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It’s been six years now since the Snowden leaks opened our eyes, gave us a good hard slap and made us question whether we can really trust our governments not to continue their suspicionless mass surveillance. Six years on, I think it’s safe to say too many of us are still on the fence – or worse, we’ve been blissfully unaware this whole time. This should concern us, because in some countries the situation has become even worse.

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Everything up until that point had played out as you might expect for a work’s Xmas party, starting in the meeting room with Prosecco-pong and pin-the-ear-on-the-elf. After making good use of three bottles and making sure to lock up for the weekend, we each made our separate ways to Cheltenham.

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